Breast cancer risk factors in women and men

Some risk factors can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Some cancer risk factors can’t be reduced, but others may be reduced or even eliminated based on your lifestyle choices.

Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women. But, men do have breast tissue and can develop breast cancer. However, less than one percent Trusted Source of all breast cancers appear in men.

Symptoms of breast cancer in men are the same as the symptoms of breast cancer in women. These symptoms include:

  • nipple ooze (other than breast milk, if breastfeeding)
  • inflammation around the collar bone
  • skin irritation
  • redness of the skin
  • a thickening of the skin on the nipples and breast
  • a nipple turning inside
  • inflammation on part or all of your breast
  • inflammation in the arm
  • inflammation under the armpit


As with women, breast cancer in men can metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Diagnosing the cancer in its early stages is important. This way, you and your specialist can quickly start treating the cancer.

Here are the most significant breast cancer risk factors:

  • Gender. As you may already know, women are more at risk than men.
  • Age. Invasive breast cancer occurs more often in women over age 55.
  • Family history. If a first-degree relative, such as a mother or sister, has had breast cancer, you have a higher risk.
  • Genetics. A small percentage of breast cancers may be caused by genes.
  • Race. According to the National Cancer Institute Trusted Source, White and African-American women are more at risk.
  • Weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for breast cancer.
  • Benign breast conditions. Some noncancerous breast conditions may impact your risk for later developing breast cancer.
  • Hormone use. If you used hormone replacement therapy (HRT), your risk for breast cancer is possibly higher.
  • Menstrual history. An early menstrual period (before age 12) may increase your chance of breast cancer.
  • Late menopause age. Delayed menopause (after age 55) may increase your chance of breast cancer.
  • Dense breast tissue. Studies imply women with dense breast tissue are more probable to develop cancer.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Women who do not exercise frequently are more at risk of developing breast cancer than women who exercise often.
  • Tobacco use. Smoking raises the chance of breast cancer, particularly in younger women who have not gone through menopause yet.
  • Alcohol consumption.


Don’t forget that you should always seek the guidance of your practitioner or other qualified health professional with any questions you might have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never forget about the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this or any other Website.

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